Tuesday, 24 September 2013
We've ditched the dummies!
This week we've ditched the dummies!
Yes, both Oliver and Isabella have given up their dummies and last night slept without them.
The use of dummies has been bugging me for some time, I've always been adamant that the children should give up their dummies by 3 years old, but Oliver was reluctant to give his up, and when we were made homeless in May it just wasn't the right time to force the issue with either toddler.
When we moved into our house in August I was keen to tackle the dummy obsession, but my husband wanted to give the children time to settle. As each day passed I was seeing the children actually have their dummies more and more, they were whining for them and Gary in particular found it easier to give in for a bit of peace and quiet.
After speaking with friends the general consensus was that leaving it a little longer wouldn't hurt, that the children had been through a huge ordeal this year, and that they would give them up eventually anyway.
My mummy instinct told me different.
Oliver has recently started pre-school and yesterday morning was very tearful when I dropped him off. He looks so little compared to the other children, but also he looked so much younger. He doesn't take his dummy to pre-school, but I felt that his overuse of the dummy was "babying" him too much and he sometimes seems emotionally behind his peers.
I felt that taking the dummy out of the equation altogether would help Oliver to be more grown up, to give him a real sense of being a big boy and reduce his reliance on comforters.
However, I knew that there was only one way I would be able to stop Oliver using a dummy - cold turkey!
I came home from dropping Oliver to pre-school and threw both dummies straight into the bin. I told Gary what I had done and said that it was time to ride out the whining and the tantrums with no soothers whatsoever. It was the only way. Also, having two toddlers so close in age meant that Isabella's dummy was also no more, but I felt that she was more than ready to give it up.
We agreed to tell the children that the dummies had been sent away for other babies to use. Oliver and Isabella accepted this explanation happily and other than testing us by asking for their dummies once around tea time, and us remaining consistent in our story, they didn't ask again.
Even at bedtime, they both mentioned their dummies but didn't pursue their requests once we told them they were helping other babies now.
Isabella stirred once in the night through coughing, but the children didn't wake up and in the morning didn't even mention their dummies. We gave them huge amounts of praise for sleeping so well and for Oliver we wrote on a special "wow" leaf for him to take to pre-school for their "wow" moment tree. Oliver was very proud to give the wow leaf to his teacher and received a sticker. Isabella had a "wow" flower added to the "wow" moment tree at our stay and play group, and also received lots of praise.
I must admit, part of me felt harsh for dealing with this in such a firm no-going back manner, but my children were more than ready and I truly believe that is why it has worked so quickly and with such little fuss.
Trusting my instincts has worked, and with Gary's full support we've helped our toddlers to grow into pre-schoolers who no longer need to have a dummy.
I'm proud that they have handled it so well.